How to Filter Spam with Russian Characters Using Regular Expressions in Open WebMail

Because I frequently use a variety of different computers and operating systems, I primarily access my email through Open WebMail installed on my own web server. This works much better for me than using a client such as Outlook, Thunderbird, or Eudora that would bring my email to a single machine. As long as I have a computer with a browser and Internet connection, I can access my email.

In recent weeks I’ve been getting a lot of spam with Russian characters. I did some research this morning and found out that they are also called Cyrillic characters. Since I can’t read anything written using Russian letters, I can safely consider any email that includes Russian characters in the subject line to be spam.

Open WebMail allows each user to set their own mail filter rules. These rules can use regular expressions. (To learn more about regular expressions, visit The following simple regular expression matches any Cyrillic letters: ([А-Я]|[а-я])

To create the rule, I logged into my Open WebMail account and clicked on the Mail Filter Setup icon. Then I created a new rule for when:

Subject Includes ([А-Я]|[а-я]) Move to Spam folder

Click on the image below for a bigger view of the screen. Note that if you are adding this rule yourself, you will want to copy the regular expression from the above line and paste it into your own filter to insure that it is entered properly.

Open Webmail Russian Language Character Regular Expression Filter

You will notice that in the screenshot above that this particular rule has filtered 16 messages since I set it up about 10 hours ago. I know that sounds low, but even many spammers seem to take holidays off–today is Thanksgiving in the United States. In the screenshot below, you will see those 16 messages in my Spam folder.

Open WebMail Russian Language Character Spam

If you try this yourself, leave me a comment and let me know how it goes!

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